Monday, December 31, 2012


I've been wanting to write this blog post for the month of December and could never seem to find the right words.      It's difficult to find all the words that go along with heartbreak while at the same time finding words to be grateful.     So, let me try .....

It has to do with 2012.     It has been a difficult year, but at the same time, it's been a joyful year.     The word that keeps coming to mind is celebration and as hard as I have fought writing about celebration, it really is one that fits.

As you know, January of 2012 started off with the loss of my beautiful Mother.     No words can possibly desribe how much she is missed.    You only have one mother and I was blessed with a very good one; one that wasn't perfect, but one that was perfect to me.     When my sisters and I were planning her funeral service, I remember talking with the Pastor who did her service and he made sure to tell us that he wanted to make sure it was something that she would have loved.    It was a "celebration" of her, what she meant to us, to her grandchildren, her brothers and sisters, and her friends.     As I have grieved deeply this year, it recently came to me that the reason for the pain was because I missed "celebrating" her.     I missed having a cup of tea with her, missed our long conversations, missed her getting excited over Dancing With The Stars, and missed our Friday evenings together.    I also realized, however,  that she is having a cup of tea in heaven, she is having the very best conversations, she is always dancing, and she is continually celebrating while she has Jesus in her presence.        

February began another hurdle with John's Father being admitted into the hospital.    After several strokes and him getting weaker and weaker, it was becoming more evident that staying at home with his wife caring for him was becoming dangerous for both of them.     A few months later, he was admitted into a long term care facility.    For the last seven years, we have had the blessing of watching John's mother care for her husband with every ounce of love that she had.     When he was admitted into long term care, she would still visit each night.     She walked in and his face lit up.     After the nurses would put him into his wheelchair, she would walk him down to the dining room, feed him, clean him up, spend several hours with him, and make sure he was comfortable in bed before she left.     She had celebrated fifty seven years of marriage with him and was still celebrating their life together no matter what the circumstances were.   

Our next celebration occured when Andrew and Christina were married on June 30th in Islesford, Maine.     Family and friends gathered and witnessed one of the most beautiful island weddings I have ever seen.     I know that I am biased, but really it was.     They wrote their own vows to which their wasn't a dry eye in the room.     They poured their hearts into the day and it was pure evidence of a love that was deep and respectful of one another.   The food was amazing, John and I had some time to ourselves, and our son was happy.     It was a reason to celebrate.   

Another celebration occured in August when my nephew returned home from Afghanistan unharmed and safe and sound.     He returned home to his wife and met his two month old son for the first time.    I still thank God.   

And the celebrations continued with an engagement, a birth of another grandchild, and the beginning of a new and special relationship with our oldest son, Michael.     He met a young woman, Courtney, who has a special little baby girl, Rosslyn.      They met when Rosslyn was just six months old.     Both of them have become very important to not only Michael's life, but to ours as well.      I can't tell you how many times I wished my mother could have met both of them.     She would have loved them too.    Just as I start to feel sorry for myself, something inside of me always brings to back to reality.     God knew what he was doing when he sent these girls into our lives.     Just when I feel like I can barely celebrate another minute, I'll see them.     Rosslyn has a smile that truly lights up a room.     She just started walking and reaching up to you.    She also just started blowing kisses.     How can I not possibly celebrate her precious life?  

November hit us hard with another hospitalization of John's father, Amy and Cody's wedding, and the loss of John's father all within a two week period.     Amy and Cody's wedding was on a Saturday and earlier that week, John's father was not able to swallow.     We knew the day was getting close to say good-bye, but on the day of her wedding, he ate breakfast.      To me, he was telling us to enjoy the day and making sure Amy and Cody had a beautiful day.    So they did and so did we.    

Three days later, he passed away.     John's family put together a beautiful collection of pictures, his siblings (he had seven out of ten that were still alive)  came from Canada, and we celebrated his life as he was laid to rest.    A sign that his daughter, Claire made read, "It's difficult to forget one who gave us so much to remember."      He was an amazing man - He loved God, he loved his wife, he loved his family, and we loved him back.   He gave us all a reason to celebrate and always will.  

There is a reason that it took me awhile to put all of this into the right words.     As 2012 rapidly comes to a close and we look towards 2013, I pray you will take the time to celebrate.     Celebrate life, celebrate one another, and celebrate every moment you have here on earth.      With 2012 just about behind our family, we still celebrate the joys and heartbreak that the year brought us.    For without the heartache, we would never know joy and all the reasons we have to celebrate.   

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Their light

After last Friday's terrible tragedy in Connecticut, it has left many people including myself feeling incredibly helpless.     My first instinct was to just pray and so that's what I did.    It did give me some comfort knowing that others were doing the same and when President Obama actually read from scripture when he addressed the people in the city of Newtown, it was my hope that all of us would receive some peace in the midst of such darkness.       

Late Saturday evening, a dear friend of mine shared with me that she had lit a candle and placed it outside to shine into heaven in rememberance of those lost in the tragedy.      I looked around my home and had the candle that was given to me when I went to All Souls Day service in our church on November 2nd in rememberance of my sweet Mother.     Now, I have to tell you that I have been lighting the candle just about every evening as I made dinner and cleaned the kitchen to have her spirit with me.     These candles are suppose to burn approximately twenty four hours.    

I lit the candle and placed it on our side stairs, said a prayer, asked God to spread his arms around these people, and then closed my eyes and thought of my Mother holding the children that were lost in her arms.     She so loved children.  

Twenty four hours later the candle was still brightly shining.     This is through wind, snow, and rain.     I never had to relight it.    

Late last night, the candle went out.    Three days and forty eight hours after it was suppose to go out, it went out.     And, then I thought, our family has lost three people this year.     My Mother, SallyAnn's Mother, and my Father-in-Law.    Three people; three days.     In the midst of a tragedy when I personally needed some peace and light, God gave it to me yet again.

I couldn't imagine the pain and anguish the families in Connecticut were going through and felt all I could do is offer a few prayers.     As I brought the candle in from outside after it went out, I felt  "Their light will forever shine in heaven" in my heart.     All of them - the three from our family and the twenty six that were lost.     In this midst of this terrible darkness, there was light.    

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas in Heaven

2012 has been a hard year with loss.      January brought the death of my sweet mother, Joyce Savory.      In August, my sister-in-law, SallyAnn lost her mother and last month, we lost my Father-in-Law, Claude Trepanier.    My Mother-in-Law found this and I felt it was worthwhile to share.    It's called Christmas in Heaven.   

I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below.  
With tiny lights, lke heaven't stars
Reflecting on the snow.  

The sight is so spectacular.
Please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.  

I hear the many Christmas songs
That people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can't compare
With the Christmas choir up here.  

For I have no words to tell you
The joy their voices bring. 
For it si beyond description
To hear an angel sing.  

I know how much you miss me.
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away.
We are really not apart.  

So be happy for me, dear ones. 
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.  

I send you each a special gift
From my heavenly home above.
I send you each a memory
of my undying love.  

For after all "Love" is a gift
More precious than pure gold,
It was always more important
In the stories that Jesus told.  

So please love and help each other
As my father said to do.
For I cannot count the blessings
Of the love he has for you.  

So please have a Merry Christmas
And wipe away that tear.
For I am spending Christmas
With Jesus Christ this year.  

I can't tell you of the splendo
Of the peace here in this place.
Can you just imagine Christmas
With our Savior, face to face.  

I'll ask him to lift your spirit
As I tell him of your love. 
So then pray for one another
As your lift your eyes above. 

So please let your heart be joyful
And left your spirits sing
For I am spending Christmas in Heaven
And I am walking with the King!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Days 12 - 21

Life has a way of making you realize that you have so much to be grateful for.      Here are days twelve through twenty-one.   

Day 12 - This is Rosslyn, Courtney's precious little baby girl who we have fallen head over heals in love with and are grateful to have in our lives. Can you see why we love her? She is over the top way too cute!

Day 13 -   I couldn't think of a better way to say this:

Day 14 - As I sit here this morning enjoying a cup of coffee with the sun beaming brightly through the window warming our home (And our dog Jazz basking in the sun next to my feet), I am grateful that I have the opportunity to work in my home office. It's a gift I treasure every day.

Day 15 - Grateful today that I have to opportunity to plan for meals each day. As much as we all can complain about coming up with ideas for dinner, we are never hungry and always have food on the table. What's for dinner tonight in your home? For us, tonight is venison tenderloins. Can't wait to prepare it, can't wait to eat it!

Day 16 - I am so grateful for an incredibly busy day and the best part is, it's about to become even busier. I can't wait to share all that is going on right now with the business.

Days 17 - 19 - I am grateful for answered prayers, having my children know what is most important in life, family gathering to support one another, and continual cherished memories. This past week-end, my Father In Law developed an infection and was put into intensive care. He was very sick and we were all extremely concerned. He is out of intensive care and has been doing much better the last couple of days. We never know what direction our life will take. All we can do is rely on each other and share the greatest gifts we have - our prayers and our love. The rest is just a bonus.

Day 20 - I will always be grateful for a beautiful woman that I had the honor of calling Mom. It has been ten months since we lost her and not a day goes by that I don't think of her. With the holidays approaching and our first Thanksgiving and Christmas without her, I am treasuring the past and grateful that we had her as long as we did. Take some time this holiday season to spend with your loved ones. It's worth far more than any gift you can ever put under a tree.   

My Beautiful Mother, Joyce Savory

Day 21 - I am grateful that I have the priviledge of going to the store today and each week for groceries. The grocery stores will be full today in preparation for tomorrow. Instead of being hurried today, I plan on enjoying the task before me. Seeing all the people makes me realize that many families and friends will get together, share a meal, and enjoy each other's company.     
Balanced Care would like to let you know that we are grateful for you and wish you all the blessings of health and happiness on Thanksgiving and always.      

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Showing gratitude Days 6 - 11

It has been a beautiful journey being more aware of everything that brings me gratitude each day.     Here are days 6 - 11:

Day 6 - I am grateful for the freedom to vote. It's a priviledge that has been fought for and even died for. It's a day that less than 5% of the world's population throughout history have been able to do. It's a day that I am proud to live in this country and have the opportunity to have my voice heard.

Day 7 - I am grateful that I woke up this morning and chose not to turn on the television or read any other negative comments about this election. Instead, I have a list of random acts of kindness that I can't wait to do. Who's with me?

Day 8 - Today I am especially grateful for our warm home. Although you may think this means the heat that comes on to warm our home, it also means the love that continues to grow inside our home. We have plenty of dust around, dishes that continually need to be washed each night, and laundry piles, but together we get it done and feel blessed to be able to do so.

Day 9 - I will always be grateful to Cecelia Furente Esposito for giving me the opportunity to not only work in a business that I love, but giving me the opportunity to own a business that I love. Business is hard work and it is never easy, however, when you look into a client's eyes that now understands their coverage, is now protected, and continually hear how they will sleep better, it is all worth it.

Day 10 - I am grateful for moments; both past and present. Friday evenings were an evening I would spend with my Mother. We would go out to eat, stay in and enjoy a cup of tea together, or just do errands. After her death, Friday nights were and still are the hardest evening for me to face. Last Friday night, I heard a knock on the door. Courtney Gray (Michael's girlfriend) was ...
there with her precious little baby daughter, Rosslyn, all dressed up as a lamb for Halloween. It was a moment that I will forever cherish. Last night, Christina Spurling (Andrew's wife - I love saying that) invited me to where she teaches for a soup and cider night (I had the most amazing soup - pumpkin lobster) and then to her art studio where her work is being featured this week-end. My heart beamed with pride as I watched her direct her students in music and then watched her talk with strangers about her art work. Another moment that I will cherish. Thank you girls - I hope you know how much you are appreciated.
Day 11 - I am grateful today and everyday for not only the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect all of us here at home, but their families that support them. To all of you, Happy Veterans Day. To me, everyday is your day and we are blessed for all you have done and are still doing.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Days 2 - 5

Continuing with expressing gratitude, here are days two through five.   

Day 2 - For my second day of gratitude, I am so grateful for my best friend and the love of my life - my husband, John. We were in love the day we were married and today, that love still continues to blossom. Marriage is like a garden - If we sit back and expect it to take care of itself, it will be in ruin. I am grateful that together we have tended to our garden - one another and never let a day go by without watering it.

Day 3 - Today I am grateful for my two sons, Michael and Andrew. I never knew how much love you could possibly hold in your heart until I had these two little boys that have grown into wonderful and loving young men. "A wee bit of heaven drifted down from above, A handful of happiness, and a heart full of love" - Thank you, Michael and Andrew, for the uniqueness you each hold and the blessings you continually bring.
Day 4 - I am so grateful for my sweet daughter in law, Christina. In the beginning of 2009 while Andrew was away at college, he called home letting me know he wanted to share something. I immediately asked, "What's her name? (A Mother knows)    He went on to talk for several minutes about Christina and I knew from the sound in his voice, he had found a very special young woman. She came to visit us the next month and right away, I knew she was more than special, I knew that she was the one. Christina, you are not only a blessing to Andrew, but to all of our family and we love you.
Day 5 -  I am grateful for this beautiful young woman who has come into our son, Michael's life and captured all of our hearts.     Courtney Gray, Michael is smiling from ear to ear since meeting you and we are happy you have put that smile on his face. God bless you, sweetie.
After starting sharing what I am most grateful for, I saw this quote and it seems fitting to share with you.     "The more grateful we become, the more we experience grace in our life."     

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's November - A Month of Gratitude

Always working towards goals in not only my business, but in my personal life, I frequently meet with other business owners as a way of being held accountable for achieving those goals.    This month, it was agreed upon that we would journal or list things each day that we are grateful for.     Since it is November 1st, it's time to get started.      You can keep up with my list on Facebook or check in here every few days as I work on my list daily.    And, if you would like to join in on the challenge, I'd love to hear from you.    

To start off, I'm grateful for my faith in God. Without this faith, I'm can't begin to comprehend where I would be right now. There are so many things that can keep you up at night - fear and worry to name a few and to be honest, they have kept me up on many occasions. Instead, I have had to learn (and am still learning) to put my trust in God and my faith becomes the most comfortable pillow I can rest my head upon.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Senior's Point of View

Balanced Care works with Medicare beneficiaries in the states of NH and Maine helping them with Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans.      It happens to be one of the aspects of my work that is very gratifying.   

Medicare changes every year and with these changes comes frustration on the part of our seniors.   It is normal for me to walk into a home and see their kitchen table full of paperwork from both Medicare and insurance companies.     It is also normal for me to see a beneficiary in tears because they can't make any sense of what they need.      

To help you understand what our seniors go through, I thought this poem entitled "A Senior's Point of View" would help.     I hope it helps you to understand their confusion and frustration.      

A Senior's Point of View

In a few short months
I'm about to turn sixty five
And with everything I've gone through
I'm just glad to be alive.

Everyone told me that I'd be happy
To sign up for Medicare
So a visit to the Social Security office is in order
Catch me if you dare.   

About a month later
I receive my Medicare card
Parts A and B are covered
understanding what this means is just plain hard.

I begin to read the booklet
that Medicare sent to me
I can't understand a thing
Except that there will be a fee.  

Because I've been through surgery
and take prescription drugs
Medicare won't cover these
I'm scared now and really just need a hug.  

Part D or Medicare Advantage
is a way to help me out
so I call insurance companies
because now I've also been diagnosed with gout.  

Lots of information is coming through the mail
Each insurance company sends me piles of paperwork about their plans
I now have a table full of stuff
That gets blown around by the fan.   

I'm more confused than ever
and don't know what to do
I'm told to go online
Which only frustrates me and makes me feel like gobbly-goo.  

A friend of mine tells me
that she knows of someone to call
She'll help sort it all out for you
And make you feel like she's catching you as you fall.   

I meet with Terri Trepanier
Who's business is Balanced Care
she's a broker, consultant, and educator
and working with her is like going to a fair.   

Admist all the paperwork
she gets to know me and my needs
It is obvious to me
working with her is not about greed.   

It's about making sense of Medicare
And managing my costs
It's making it less complicated
So I'll never again be lost.   

If you have a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle that is struggling with their Medicare choices, please think about Balanced Care.      We are in the insurance business, but most importantly, we are in the people business.     

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"I Want My Mommy Now"

Not only is October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also National Dental Hygiene Month.    When I was thinking about dental hygiene,  I couldn't help but think of my son, Andrew, when he was just four years old and going to the dentist for the second time.  

On the way to the dentist office for his cleaning, he assured me that he wouldn't need me to go into the office with him while he had his cleaning.    I could wait in the waiting room because he could now do this "all by himself".   I hesitated as I watched my big boy walk into the room with the dental hygienist and felt proud of this big accomplishment.   About twenty minutes later, I heard this blood curdling scream from inside the dental office.     Loud and clear, I heard, " I want my Mommy now!"    Everyone in the waiting area heard this and looked at one another as I said, "That's my son".   I got up and walked into the office where he was.   

Andrew was standing up on the dental chair and when he saw me, he literally leaped into my arms.     The dentist wanted to do a flouride treatment at this visit and Andrew wanted nothing to do with it.  At the time, the flouride treatment looked like a long tube with a small flame coming out of it.     It didn't hurt at all, but the looks of it scared him and talking him into it would take an act of Congress.    Still in my arms, the dentist showed Andrew on my finger that his Mommy could do it.    He showed him on the hygienist finger.    The harder he tried, the more he protested.   The dentist let me know that he never had a patient that he couldn't talk into having something done.  That is until Andrew.   

We put it off for another visit and on the way to the dentist, Andrew assured me that he was a big boy, but I could go in with him if I would feel better.      He didn't say, "I want my Mommy now" in those specific words, but I heard him loud and clear.      The best part is he had the treatment done and I was right there with him watching another milestone take place.          

Monday, October 8, 2012

Why Blog?

I started reading blogs in December of 2010.     In reading them, I found that they brought me joy and hope each time I took the time to read them.     When my website was in the process of being done, I was told that I should blog to help out with Search Engine Optimization.     With lots of help from Amy Spainhower, she helped me to understand the importance of this and together we looked at websites that I could blog and add posts to regularly.    

With the website just about done (it's always a work in progress), I do regularly add posts that have to do with business.    Although this is educational and brings a lot of information to the table, it can't always be personal.     With this said, I thought it would be important to start this blog in order for you to get to know me as a person.     As I often say, insurance work is sales, but most importantly, it's about people.    

I live in Rochester and work from my home office when I'm not meeting with clients in their homes, their businesses, or in local coffee shops.    My husband, John, and I have been married for 28 years and together we have two grown sons, Michael and Andrew.      

                                                              My husband and I

Andrew was married the end of June and we were thrilled to welcome a new daughter in law, Christina,  into our family.

                                              Andrew and Christina on their wedding day

                                                                        My family 

Simply put, I'm a wife, a mother, a mother- in- law, a sister, a sister-in-law, and a woman that loves her business.     We have struggles just like everyone else, however, we have more blessings than I can possibly count.     My hope is that this blog helps you in realizing how special you are to the world, to your family, to the business, and last but not least, me.    

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October 2, 1984 2:15 AM

My work as an Insurance broker is one that I love and look forward to every day, but the best job ever came in the beginning of February 1984.      A positive pregnancy test told me that my husband and I were expecting a baby and my job as a Mother had now begun.    

My pregnancy had complications when at my first appointment, I was told that I was much too big for a six week pregnancy.  The doctor was convinced that I was either carrying more than one baby or that there was something else in my womb causing me to look  further along than I was.  He immediately ordered a ultra sound that same day.   The ultrasound showed that I wasn't carrying twins, but had tumors growing in my uterus right next to the baby.  The hormones that a woman's body produces during pregnancy were causing the tumors to grow at a rapid speed.  The doctor told me that it was a miracle that I ever became pregnant.      Needless to say, the tumors would have to come out, however, because I was expecting this precious miracle, I didn't want to jeopardise the pregnancy.   I would be monitored closely for the next ten weeks to make sure that the tumors didn't rupture and the baby wasn't in any danger.   After these ten weeks, the baby would be able to survive surgery and the tumors could come out.     

Three weeks later, I awoke to terrible pain.   I immediately called the doctor and set up an appointment.    My worse fears came true as the tumors were rupturing endangering the baby's life as well as mine.     The doctor asked me to consider terminating the pregnancy as I would have to have emergency surgery the next day.     I remember my Motherly instinct so well that day.     I told him that if it was a miracle that I became pregnant, then I would leave the rest up to God and let him work his miracle.       I came out of surgery and immediately asked about the baby.    I was relieved to hear that everything went well.      

At my two week check-up after my surgery, the doctor wanted to see if he could hear a heartbeat. The doctor listened and began to smile.    I will never forget the moment he told me the heartbeat was strong and he now believed that I would carry this baby to term.      

On October 2, 1984, at 2:15 AM, our oldest son, Michael Claude, was born healthy and the best job as that of his Mother was now in full swing.    It may seem strange, but each year, at exactly 2:15 AM on his birthday, I wake up and relive that moment of watching him come into our lives.      I don't plan on doing this.     It just happens.       

Michael has grown up to a wonderful young man who I continue to admire each day.    He began my journey as a Mother and I pray he knows the joy he has brought me.      

Thursday, September 27, 2012

It's Fall - Time to Prepare For The Winter Months

Fall is such a beautiful time of the year.     Red, orange, and yellow leaves falling from the trees and blowing across my yard waiting to be raked up and jumped upon, crispy apples, and fresh crisp air fill my mind as I enjoy this time of year.   

Fall also reminds me that winter is not far around the corner and with it comes colder temperatures, snow and ice, and unfortunately, colds and flus.    Fall is a perfect time to the year to start getting yourself in great shape for the winter months.    Here's a few ideas from Balanced Care to help you get started today:



Flu Shots - Check with your doctor or local pharmacy to find out when the flu shot will be available in your area.    

Exercise in important all year round, however, it becomes harder to do so during the winter months especially if you love to walk outdoors.    Fall is the perfect time to check out your local malls as a place to walk when you can't walk outside.

Add as many fruits and vegetables to your diet as possible.     We should all be eating fruits and vegetables at every meal.    A good rule of thumb is to make sure that half your plate is filled with fruits and vegetables.    Also, think of the colors of the rainbow with regards to fruits and vegetables.    The more colors you use, the healthier you are eating and the healthier you will be.  

Fall is also a perfect time to have your heating system checked out.     A service man will check for leaks and clean out any mold or dust that can leave you feeling sickly.     It's also a good time of the year to check your smoke and carbon dioxide batteries.      Many people will do this when we "Fall Back" to standard time on November 4th at 2:00 AM.     
Drink more water.     Chances are you will be turning your heating systems on very soon.    We are more prone to dehydration during the cooler months and the dry heat robs both our body and skin of vital moisture.     Water also helps to keep our mucous membranes hydrated so they can fight against disease causing organisms.   
To make sure your body can fight off illnesses, it's important to get plenty of rest.     Create a consistent routine for going to bed so your body learns to anticipate sleep.    You may want to create a habit of doing something that relaxes you before bedtime such as a hot shower, warm bath, cup of herbal tea, or a good book.     

Balanced Care does provide health insurance to businesses, individuals, and our senior market.     Although this is important, it's just as important to us that you are taking the necessary steps to stay healthy all year round.   

Monday, September 24, 2012

Secretary - My high school dream

We have been in an organizational mode in our home this year due to several things happening.     After my Mother's passing, we had to clean out her apartment and kept a lot of her things and have been going through it slowly.     Our youngest son, Andrew, was married the end of June and moved to a new place shortly after.     He and his wife have some of their things here and to keep it organized and together, we put it all on our front porch.      We found out that our street will be going through some major reconstruction so we are attempting to move everything off the front porch and into another location in the house.   Most likely, this location will be in the basement or garage.   

With all of this happening, my husband is actively working on cleaning up both the basement and garage to keep things as organized as possible.     Since he was organizing the basement, he found high school yearbooks and we took the time to look at them again.     I had forgotten about what I had written for my high school future goals and dreams until I read it.   

One of my future goals while I was in high school was to become a secretary.     I took several courses in high school including shorthand (which I still use), typing, bookkeeping, etc.     I still have the skills, however, I never became a secretary professionally.   It wasn't until recently that my high school dream actually became a reality in other ways.     

When you own a business and are self-employed, you not only do the work yourself, but have the responsibility of a secretary, a bookkeeper, a marketer, etc.    It is a lot of responsibility and I love every aspect of it.     To become better known in the community, I have become involved with organizations that are near and dear to my heart.    Some may say that it is good for business; I have to say that it is good for the soul.    

On December 2nd, 2010, I was asked to pray for a family here in Rochester.     The family was due to have a baby named Rachel Alice Aube delivered by c-section the next day, December 3rd.     I was directed to a blog written by Stacy Aube, Rachel's Mama.     Rachel had been diagnosed with anencephaly and wasn't expected to live long outside of her Mother's womb.      The days and months going forward, Stacy wrote about her loss and I continued to read the blog daily.     I decided to reach out to Stacy after feeling lead to do so.     I wrote a note letting her know how sorry I was for her loss, but thanked her for saying "yes" to something that she knew would cause her so much pain.     Stacy and her family built a playground in Rachel's honor at the church grounds of Grace Community Church in Rochester with the help of local businesses and many volunteers.      It was at this time that I personally met Stacy and we fast became good friends.    

Stacy was approached that same year about having a 5K Walk/Run in Dover in Rachel's honor and having the proceeds donated to a non-profit of her choice.     Stacy chose to have the first year's proceeds go to Options for Women.     Again, I volunteered my time and was proud to be a small part of such a beautiful cause.      A non-profit was formed entitled Baby Rachel's Legacy and Stacy asked me to be on the board of directors.      We recently held our 2nd Annual 5K Walk/Run with the proceeds raised going to Family Builder's Ministry in Somersworth.      I'm proud to say that we raised $9,430 this year and the event was a huge success.    

When Stacy asked me to be on the board, she asked me if I would be interested in serving as the secretary during board meetings.      It wasn't until I read my yearbook that I thought, "Wow, my dream did come true".    I am a secretary.  

As I mentioned before, becoming more involved within my community was important to me.     Balanced Care is part of the Barrington Chamber of Commerce and because of that, I go to Business After Hours, Luncheons, and as many events that they have to stay active.     Several months ago, I received an e-mail from another member asking me if I would be interested in serving on the Board of Directors.     I gave it some thought, prayed about it, and eventually said that I would be interested.      There were nine positions available and twelve people would be running.      To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure that I would be picked, but much to my surprise, I was and will start serving this week.     I am actually excited about the opportunity and you will never guess what I was asked to consider doing.     That's right - serve as the secretary for the Board of Directors.   

As I reflected on my yearbook, it became even more evident of how blessed I am.     I am a wife that still loves her husband and am blessed that he loves me back, I am a Mother to two grown sons who aren't intimidated by sharing their love with me (They have a wonderful Father), I have a daughter in law that I adore, my husband and I have a roof over our heads and plenty of food on the table, I have a business that I love and doesn't feel like work because I love it so much,  and lastly, my high school dream of becoming a secretary came true.   

As Walt Disney once said, "All our dreams can come true - - - if we have the courage to pursue them.      All this because of reorganization and reflection.           

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Logo

Soon after purchasing Balanced Care, I looked at all the marketing materials that were given to me as part of the sale.     They were all very well done and beautiful,  however they were all different.     The website was different than the business cards.     Promotional items closely resembled the website, however, it was still different.     Balanced Care had a presence and was well known in the community, however, if people that never heard of Balanced Care before went looking either online or at the website, I feared they would wonder if they had found the right business.   

While an employee for Balanced Care, I never really realized this.    I did my job and didn't have to  worry about the website or any other marketing for that matter.     Once owning the company, things changed and changed quickly.     I looked into website costs, marketing materials, logos, etc.     It became obvious to me that the change wasn't going to happen overnight.     I gave myself a year to get things done and started working on keeping everything the same.    

The first thing that I did was to review what I liked and didn't like.     Obviously, I didn't like that things were different and not branded.     I didn't have a logo and really wasn't sure if I needed one.    On the business card was a person practicing yoga at a beach.     She was balanced on a rock and I did really love it.   Unfortunately, what happened was people thought the business was a yoga studio even though the name of the business was on the card.    

With everything coming at me at once, I decided to step back and look at the business as a client.     What does a person really want when they purchase health insurance or any other type of insurance for that matter?    Peace of mind is what continually kept coming to me and so I looked at ways that provided me peace of mind.     I immediately thought of the ocean.      I've always loved the ocean especially in the evening with fresh air hitting my skin and the smell of the salt water.     I love picking up seashells and walking on the rocks.     Just thinking about it helps me to relax.    

Once I realized that I knew I wanted the ocean as part of my brand, I hired Don Chick of Chick Photography to do a business portrait for me.    He suggested that we go to the beach and take the photo:

This photo was really the beginning of why I chose my logo.       I thought about adding something to do with the ocean for a logo and couldn't think of anything.    That is until I looked up the word, "Balanced" and "ocean" and found that the Sand Dollar has a meaning of balance as well as a biblical meaning.     Let me explain the Legend of The Sand Dollar:

The Legend of the Sand Dollar

There's a lovely little legend
that I would like to tell,
of the birth and death of Jesus,
found in this lowly shell.

If you examine closely,
you'll see that you find here,
four nail holes and a fifth one,
made by a Roman's spear.

On one side the Easter lily,
its center is the star,
that appeared unto the shepherds
and led them from afar.

The Christmas Poinsettia
etched on the other side,
reminds us of His birthday,
our happy Christmastide.

Now break the center open,
and here you will release,
the five white doves awaiting,
to spread Good Will and Peace.

This simple little symbol,
Christ left for you and me,
to help us spread His Gospel,
through all Eternity.

Author Unknown
All along, I really wanted to find something that would give thanks to the one who has blessed me with a business that I love while at the same time not be disrespectful of other point of views.      The sand dollar went right along with my "beach" brand, but also made me thank God everyday as I looked at it.     Amy Spainhower of Wedgewood Design is the one who designed my logo and has helped me with my business cards, my website, and my Facebook business page.   
So, today as you look at my logo, I will be thanking God for this business and thanking him for every person that I have the priviledge of providing peace of mind too.     


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How Do I Know What Kind Of Life Insurance Is Best For Me?

Have you ever wondered why there are so many types of Life Insurance and how to go about picking a plan?     As Balanced Care continues to focus on Life Insurance during National Life Insurance Awareness Month, I felt it was a good idea to talk about the different types and who they would best suit.    

There are really two types of Life Insurance - One being term and the other being permanent.   To prevent confusion, Balanced Care will focus on Term Life Insurance in this post.          

Term Insurance provides protection with the least amount of cost.    Term Insurance is often called Pure Life Insurance because it does not have any savings or investment features in the plan.    Term Insurance is also the most straight forward type of insurance as you will pay a premium (normally monthly or annually) for a specified amount of time.     This normally ranges from ten to thirty years for most policies.    

Generally, most people buy Life Insurance as a means of providing a lump sum of income to their survivors in the event of an untimely death.     This income can help with mortgage payments, rent, car payments, childcare, debt, and college education.     As we get older, our expenses should go down.     Mortgages will be close to being paid off and children will grow up and move out.     If we consider that the average mortgage lasts thirty years, it is a belief that the need for Life Insurance will decrease.    

Term Life Insurance policies will benefit families that rely on two incomes.     If you have a mortgage and live with either a spouse or significant other, you will want to purchase some Life Insurance as mortgage protection.     The general rule is to purchase enough to be able to pay the home mortgage for the duration of the years left to pay on it.   

You should also take into consideration Income Replacement.     If you have been relying on two incomes and suddenly go to one, your standard of living will change as well.   

As with any type of Life Insurance, the earlier you decide to purchase it, the better off you will be.    Your age and health when you are younger will make the premium much more affordable and easier to be approved.       If you feel that Term Life Insurance will be your best best, feel free to call Balanced Care for a no obligation quote today.     Balanced Care works with over forty insurance carriers making sure to find you a plan that takes your budget into consideration and your protection our number one priority.     

Monday, September 17, 2012

Autumn Is In The Air

Autumn happens to be my favorite time of the year.     Fresh cool air, the beautiful colors, crisp apples, and laundy hung on the clothesline that triggers the memory of my children playing outside in the fall are just a few of the reasons why I love this time of year.   

In the insurance industry and especially if you work with Medicare beneficiaries, it is also the time of year when agents have to recertify with every insurance carrier you want to offer your clients.      This includes AHIP (America's Health Insurance Plan) certification and passing a test with at least a 90% and then passing a test from every insurance company with at least a 85%. 

So, while you are enjoying the fall weather, I'll be enjoying it as well.     I'll just be enjoying it from my window as I take another test and look at the colors outside while crunching on an apple.   


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Selling" Insurance

Balanced Care is in the business of helping individuals, businesses, and our seniors secure adequate health and life insurance coverage in the states of NH and Maine. I often hear from people in other professions as well as from my clients that they wonder how I can stand to “sell” insurance. I thought it would be a good idea to comment on this statement and share why the job I do is important. 

If we really stop and think about it, we all have been in sales at some point in our life.   It may not be your career choice, but stop for a minute and think about how you had to “ask” permission from your parents to do something you really wanted to do.  They may have said “no” the first time which if you were anything like me, you kept asking.   You plead your case; you asked again. You may have still heard the word, “no”, but kept on.  You were “selling” to your parents the reasons why you should go to a dance, a party, or a movie.  Think about your first job interview or any job interview for that matter.   You made sure to dress the part, were escorted into an interview room, interviewed, and possibly interviewed a second and third time.   Each time, you were “selling” your strengths.

“Sales” is the reason why I personally hesitated before deciding to go into the insurance business. I didn’t want to be seen as someone who “Sold” my clients.   I didn’t want to be known as a “Pushy salesperson”.   I worried about what people would think if I “bothered” them.      

After realizing just how important insurance is and what is does for families, I had to change my attitude about sales and perceive it differently. Through experience, I knew what it did for my family. How could I possibly be worried about what people think and not share with them what it really does. Could I be that selfish?

The answer is No! I couldn’t be. It was a gift that my family received and a blessing that we had an insurance salesperson come to our home, care enough to ask us questions and protect us.   It was a gift that I had to pay forward.   People can say no and that’s fine.   I can rest assured and put my head on my pillow each night knowing that I have done what I could to protect them and given them the best advice I have at my fingertips.

So, when I hear the comment, how can you stand to “Sell” insurance, the answer I always give is how can I not?    I know that another person, another family, and/or another business have done what they could to protect themselves.  They will sleep a little better at night and so will I.      After all, I had to “Sell” myself to go out to a movie my parents didn’t want me to see and I had to “Sell” myself on many job interviews.   Truthfully, insurance is a whole lot easier and much more gratifying.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It hardly seems possible that it has been eleven years since the horrible tragedy of 9/11/2001.     I still remember the day and everything about it.      I remember where I was and thinking that this cannot be possibly happening.      I remember airlines being shut down.     I remember amusement parks closing.    I remember walking my children to school the next day and seeing armed guards outside of the National Guard.     It was all so surreal.      Countless lives were lost that day.      Countless men and women sacrificed their own lives to save others.     

The thing that forever took my breath away was watching Congress sing, "God Bless America".    They weren't thinking about Democrat or Republican.     They were standing together as one.     It's something I wished could have lasted much longer.

God Bless America, my home sweet home.       

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Smiles and Teardrops

Labor Day Week-end is always a special week-end for me, however, this year is much different.      I was born on Labor Day week-end and am celebrating my birthday today. .    It's much different this year as it will be my first birthday without my Mother.   My mother loved to shop and when birthdays would come, she would shop with a passion looking for that perfect gift.    The last several years of her life were harder for her to get out for any length of time so she shopped through magazines and absolutely loved QVC.    The gifts were always perfect, but more importantly, I was blessed to see the joy as she wrapped the gift to perfection and she waited with eager anticipation as you opened the gift.    This year, there will be no gifts to open from her, but the gifts that she gave me were worth more than any gift I could possibly open.     This blog is dedicated to my sweet Mother and so I thought it fitting to share some of my thoughts and experiences that have happened since losing her and this week-end.    

After losing my mother, tears would flow at the drop of a hat.     With each holiday, my sister's birthdays, and Mother's Day, I would put on a smile, but inside, my heart broke.       Just because she was gone didn't mean that I would ever stop loving her or that I would ever forget her.    If anything, it only made me love her more.     Over the last few months, I started going through her pictures and would smile as memories of her would flood my memory.   

Going through the pictures helped with healing as instead of shedding tears each time I would think of her, I could concentrate on what was instead of what wasn't.     Friday nights were an evening that I would visit with her, take her out to eat, and spend time with her.    In the beginning when a Friday night would come, I could barely hold myself together.    Now, I'm grateful that I took the opportunity to be with her, hold her hand, and enjoy her company.       As I mentioned, my mother loved to shop.    It isn't something that I can't wait to do, but it was an experience with her.     At Christmas time, we would visit store after store looking for a gift for everyone on her list.     They were never extravagent gifts, but they were given from her heart.      The last time I took her out shopping was at Christmas time and I rented a wheelchair so she wouldn't tire as easily.     I was exhausted after several hours, but so glad we went and I have that memory.  

My mother never loved cooking and wasn't shy about telling you that it wasn't her favorite activity.    She joked that she wouldn't mind if her home didn't have a kitchen because she was rarely in it.     All this and still a cup of tea would still taste better when she made it.     I remember having her make scrambled eggs and toast when I was sick and she made them to perfection (eggs not runny and toast just lightly browned).    I also remember having her take the popsicle or fudgsicle off the stick because I never liked (and still don't) the feel of the stick in my mouth.     She may not have loved the kitchen, but these memories bring a smile to my face as I work in my own kitchen hopefully making good memories for my own family.      

While walking our dog, Jazz, on the sixth month anniversary of my mother's death, the day started off hard.     I was missing her and tears starting to roll down my cheek.    I began to pray and asked God to help me through the day.     I looked down on the ground and saw this:

A perfect shaped heart in the grass.     God had answered my prayer as he showed me that he was still guarding my heart by showing me his.      Instead of sadness, I felt joy as I knew she was with him.    She was healed.     Her heart was now strong,   She no longer suffered.     She was in his care.     A smile came across my face and the day was a little easier.    

This week-end, I spent some time in my garden.     My heart was breaking as I anticipated my birthday coming up.    When I say this, it sounds selfish and I guess it is.      So, again, I prayed and you won't believe it, but in my garden I found this flower.

This flower isn't suppose to be blooming this time of the year, but it is.     This flower is the one that my mother enjoyed the most in my garden.     She always commented on how beautiful they were.    In the midst of heartbreak, there was plenty of beauty as long as I looked for it.   All I could imagine were plenty of flowers and beauty all around her.    How could I possibly not be smiling for her?         

The day got a little better as I took Jazz out for another walk in the yard.    I looked down and saw this; another heart guarding my heart as I smiled and a tear fell down my cheek.   

I love and miss you, Mom.  


Saturday, September 1, 2012

National LIfe Insurance Awareness Month

September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month and because Balanced Care provides Life Insurance to individuals, businesses, and seniors, we thought we would provide as much education on this product this month as possible.    

We will start with answering the most commonly asked questions and because today is the first of the month, we thought we would start with the question that is asked the most.     "Do I Need Life Insurance"?   

Are you engaged or married? Your spouse or partner can use the benefits to help pay for final expenses that include burial costs as well as meet ongoing obligations such as rent, mortgage, or car payments.

Are you the breadwinner in the family? If your family’s lifestyle would significantly be impacted, benefits will help with the loss of income.
Are you a parent with dependent children? Benefits can provide for your children’s financial needs. Expenses such as day care, medical care, braces, school and tuition will be taken care of even if you are no longer able to do so.

Are you a single parent? Your children rely on your income to survive.
Are you a stay at home parent? Even if you don’t work outside of your home, you provide plenty of work inside the home. Caring for children, housekeeping, cooking, and bookkeeping will all need to be replaced.

Are you a homeowner? Without your income, your family would still have to pay the mortgage, sell the home, or worst case scenario, face foreclosure.

Are you in business with a partner? Your death could cause the business to fail or close and leave more than one family financially distraught.
Are you an employer with one or more hard to replace valued employees? Without these key employees, your company can fail causing the company to close down. This not only effects the company, but every employee and their families.

Are you involved with an important cause or charity? If you want a leave a lasting legacy, the benefit can be donated to your favorite charity.

As we have always said, Life Insurance is a personal decision. At Balanced Care, we do encourage no obligation consultations so you can get to know us as a broker and the insurance companies we represent. We do work with over forty carriers so that we can offer the most competitve rates, the best underwriting offers, and most importantly, support and customer service when you need it the most.     

Thursday, August 30, 2012


    Earlier this week, I sat down with Cecelia Esposito, the former owner of Balanced Care to ask her questions on how she came about picking the name, "Balanced Care" for the business.     I have always loved the name, however, never asked the question.   I hope you enjoy learning about how it came to be as much as I have.   

When Cecelia started working in the health insurance industry, she realized several things.     She realized just how expensive health insurance plans were and she realized just how little people really understood their policies.     She began to take surveys with each client that she worked with asking as many questions as possible to make sure they were not only getting the better rates, but also understanding how to have the policy work for them.      She took into consideration both individual and business budgetary requirements and in doing so,  presented options that matched coverage to each person or business she worked with.   

Clients were always appreciative of the work that was put into coming up with options and knew that she cared.      She came up with "Balanced" because she was continually working to keep budgets "Balanced" while making sure that people were protected and "Care" because quite simply, she cared.     The tagline of Balanced Care at the time was "Balancing Your Insurance Needs With A Focus On Affordability". 

If you take a look at my website,,  on the "About Us" section, I go into detail how I am grateful for the opportunity to be the owner of Balanced Care.     Cecelia really spent a lot of time with me making sure that I understood products, but also spent a lot of time making sure that the product that was being offered fit specific needs.     This included not only budgets, but also making sure that clients were aware of the plans and how it fit their lifestyle.     When Cecelia first went into business, her focus was on Health Insurance but soon went on to Dental, Life, Supplemental plans such as Cancer and Accident, Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, and Long Term Care.     She continually looked for ways to keep the "Balance" in your life while giving you protection.    When she offered the business to me to buy, she knew that I would work to provide the same values that she did, however, bring some fresh ideas for growth to help more people.      Because of this, I did decide to keep the name, however, I did change the tagline:  

Balanced Care - Providing Balance, Security, and Peace of Mind    

Let me break that down:    If you look in the dictionary, these are the definitions:

Balanced -

A stable mental or emotional state. 

A harmonious or satisfying arrangement.  

An influence producing equalibrium.    

Security -

Freedom from risk. 

Freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; gives confidence.  

Something that leaves you feeling safe.   

Peace of Mind -

Inner contentment and serenity.    

From day one, my goal is not to sell you something.     It is provide education on the products you are interested in, and help provide the balance, the security, and the peace of mind that everyone of us deserves each and everyday.     

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Behind every contract that Balanced Care writes is a business, an individual, or a senior that relies on their coverage.      We are in the insurance business, but more importantly, we are in the people business.   I recently took the time to write a mission statement that best desribes the fundamental purpose of Balanced Care and its values.    

At Balanced Care, we understand that life can lead us to the unexpected. Family and careers are challenging enough when everything is going well. Add an unexpected illness or injury and it could result in financial hardship and your life totally off balance. Because of this, we work with every major health insurance carrier in the states of Maine and NH so that we can not only provide you with the best options, but the best value. We believe in providing you education on every product we offer so that you are able to use the plan to your full advantage. We maintain a high level of integrity with each insurance carrier and act a liaison between you and the insurance company so when you need help the most, it is there. Our goal is to continually provide you Balance, Security, and Peace of Mind with your insurance needs.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Welcome to my Blog

Since I have enjoyed reading other blogs, I have decided to start one and welcome you here.     I am a wife, a mother, a brand new mother in law, and the owner of Balanced Care Health and Supplemental Insurance.     This blog will be dedicated to my Mother, Joyce Savory, who I sadly lost early this year.     It is my hope that this blog will allow you to get to know me, what is important to me, and why what I do each day gives me such joy.       

Because this blog is dedicated to my mother, I wanted to start off by sharing with you something I wrote shortly after her death.       

January 16th, 2012 - 1:38 AM

The moment that the world lost a beautiful woman;

The moment that six siblings lost their sister;

The moment that six grandchildren lost their grandmother;

The moment that two great grandchildren lost their great grandmother;

The moment that countless friends lost their friend;

The moment that my sisters and I lost our Mother.   

The moment that Jesus opened his arms and said, " My child, come to me and rest; your suffering is over."

The moment that two parents held their oldest daughter once again;

The moment that Butch and Jean, two siblings, hugged their oldest sister.   

Rest in Peace, Mom.     You worked hard for that rest and deserve it.